Iraqi opposition members are wondering why Iraqi television and radio stations are still on the air at this stage of the military campaign.Those outlets are allowing Saddam to disseminate propaganda to the Iraqi people.

But Secretary Rumsfeld said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it would be risky to destroy the Iraqi media facilities because they are close to civilian populations. [New York Sun, 3/24/03]

This is scary–it shows that even Rumsfeld has accepted the irrational conditions placed upon this war. It’s one thing not to cause unnecessary civilian casualties. It’s another thing to refrain from taking necessary military action out of fear of harming civilians. Casualties of all sorts will be minimized if we win this war as soon as possible. But war is war. Bending over backwards not to offend like this does not buy goodwill; the ones who want to be liberated will recognize the necessity of military action, even if it puts their lives at risk–and the ones who don’t want us there will find any excuse however trivial to oppose us, regardless of how few civilians we harm.

Comments Chip Joyce,

Doesn’t it seem that our obsession not to harm civilians is jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers?

Here’s my advocated principle: one American soldier’s life trumps any number of foreign civilians. Civilians should not be targeted but they should be risked for the safety of American soldiers.

Our government exists to protect American citizens. When it sends soldiers to fight wars, it should hold them in higher regard than foreigners. Tough choices come with war. To choose otherwise is to unjustly sacrifice our brave soldiers. When it comes down to it, Iraqis are more responsible for their government than our soldiers are. [About the War, 3/24/03]

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